Megalobbying Corporate Group Behind Anti-Medicare For All Campaign Officially Does Almost No Lobbying

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During the past few months the Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future (PAHCF) has been repeatedly exposed as an industry front group seeking to kill Medicare for All. Lobbyists apparently working for the Partnership in Montana and Ohio drafted or heavily revised op-ed columns published by three state lawmakers on the topic, the Washington Post reported today.

Other recent stories about the Partnership have come out in The New Republic, Politico and Maplight. Andrew Perez, the author of the latter’s story, which also ran at The American Prospect, obtained the Partnership’s 2018 tax filing. His story showed that PAHCF reported raising $5.1 million in dark money last year, and has worked extensively with leading (Mostly Democratic) consulting firms and pro-business nonprofits. The tax return showed total expenditures for the Partnership of $3.7 million.

According to the story, the group paid almost $760,000 to a firm called Bully Pulpit Interactive, which has worked with the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; about $185,000 to Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, “a polling firm that has been working with former Vice President Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign”; $140,000 to Blue Engine Message & Media, which was founded by former campaign staffers for President Barack Obama; and $1.7 million to Forbes Tate, a bipartisan lobbying firm, which “leverages our years of experience and vast network in Congress and across the Administration to advocate for your priorities in Washington.”

The Partnership shelled out another $520,000 to Center Forward, “a centrist think tank that hosted a luxury retreat last year where senior Democratic congressional staffers were invited to listen to Center Forward board member Libby Greer, a Forbes Tate partner who works for PAHCF, talk with a hospital lobbyist about health care.”

A story last year in The Intercept and another early this year from (now shuttered) Splinter News also detailed a ton of plans and activities by PAHCF. The story in Splinter, “Look at These Absolutely Ordinary Americans Who Hate Medicare for All,” found that a number of letters to the editors to small papers around the country — put out in Partnership press releases — had been authored, without disclosure, by political consultants and health care executives and lobbyists.

There are tons of loopholes that allow organizations to get around lobby disclosure laws, but by any reasonable definition a lot of what the Partnership does is lobbying.

And guess how much the group has officially disclosed it has spent for that purpose between last year, when it was founded, and through the end of September 2019? A grand total of $40,000, according to Open Secrets, all with Forbes Tate since the firm registered for the Partnership in April.

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